Post from Russ
Had a great time with John and Katie and their three wonderful girls. It was good to spend time with such a happy family. Marg had lots of catchup chats with Katie and loved being with the kids (and Katie of course). I had many good conversations with John over the time we spent together catching up and solving the problems of the world! The kids moved so quickly that some of the photos are a bit fuzzy but you can still see how cute they are.
John took us on a tour of the district including his workplace where he is responsible, with another bricklayer, for maintaining the smelter refractory lining. The scale of the operation was amazing. After this we visited the super pit which is currently 3.5 km long, 1.5 km wide and 360 m deep! It produces 900,000 ounces of gold a year.
The 3 story high dump trucks look like toys in the pit, in fact it looked like a model mine from the viewing platform. In one of the photos you can see some holes part way up the side of the pit, these are the drives of old gold mines that the super pit has swallowed. In the other photo of the super pit you can just see the massive dump trucks the size of ants on the access decline and associated steps.
We left John and Katie’s on Sunday to start the journey home. The nullarbor plain is not as treeless as the name suggests with lots of low scrub and stunted mallees. In the two days so far we have done about 1050 Km of the 3000 Km required to get back to Mt Eliza. We have found lunch spots with trees each day and have included a photo of the surrounds at todays lunch stop.
Tonight we are staying at a roadhouse caravan park, or should I say caravan gravel with a howling southerly straight off the southern ocean which is about 10 Km away. Out our window to the east from north to south we have a flat horizon with only 4 small trees as any break to the flatness. I guess this is the area that gave the the plain its name.
This may be the last post for a few days until we get passed Port Augusta and back into 3G reception.